Cassia is currently looking at a Where's Waldo book here at Looney Bean Coffee in the happening downtown of Bend Oregon, on a lovely Sunday afternoon.
I'd imagine that many of you are thinking 'Where is the Wood Clan'!
Just off a two day craft beer marathon that's where. If you can believe we were crazy enough to attempt - and complete - visiting all 12 Bend craft breweries on the The Bend Ale Trail. Phew!
Anyway - that is a story for another day.
Today, I need to show you our second last day along the California Coast.
I'm thinking that the Redwoods in Northern California are on many destination lists - it has been on ours for quite some time. Although we like the ocean enough, it isn't really the Wood Clans ideal environment - especially with all the rain - but big trees - well, just like sand dunes and big rocks - we detour and stop for BIG trees.
The Redwoods are some BIG trees.
Since our overnight spot in Fort Bragg was a bit on the risky side we didn't stay long come the morning. Just up the road we found a pull out right beside the ocean to stop for breakfast.
And just look who is making their way north as well!
Then we carried on along the #1 to take us to the 101. Sheesh - are we not done with these winding roads yet!?
Another curvy and tight road with a few construction stops along the way.
Finally to the 101 and heading into Redwood Territory. Although we should have known, we didn't quite realize that the Redwoods are a bit of a tourist trap. Businesses along the highway advertising different 'trees'. The fact that we couldn't drive thru the big tree at Leggett unless we handed over $5 should have been a sign of what was to come further north.
A fellow in Fort Bragg the evening before had told us that the 'Avenue of the Giants' was well worth the side trip. So - here we are. It is a scenic alternative to the 101 - you branch off and then return 31 miles later. Well, well, worth it - we highly recommend this side trip.
But it was wet! Much of the ride was like this. Sadly, it was only later that we realized that Derek should have pulled over so that I could take a better picture from outside of the van.
There are many pullouts along the way so that you can get up close to the trees. We decided to carry on to about half way through the ride to the Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor Center.
Again - well worth the stop. A very nice visitor centre with historical information and a gift shop.
And the Travel-Log!
Pretty neat - eh!? You can read about Charles Kellogg and his Travel-Log here.
Nice that is still exists and has been restored. Hard to get a picture of the whole thing.
After a tour of the Centre we headed back out and over to the trail that starts on the other side of the road from the Center. Our first chance to walk among the Giants.
Although you know they are big - there's nothing like actually being there to experience the awesomeness of these large trees.
So thankful we finally came to the Redwoods - I put it up there with other places we have been like the Grand Canyon, White Sands and Thermopolis.
This trail provides plenty of information to learn about the Redwood forest.
An offshoot trail to the Eel River.
Although it was raining much of the time during our walk we were quite sheltered within the trees.
For the remainder of the afternoon we followed the 101. We came upon the towns of Fortuna and Eureka. With the rain we didn't venture in.
Instead, we continued a bit further to one of the Craft Breweries that we have been planning to stop at for quite a while.
Although a bit tricky to find behind a storage facility - we came upon Humboldt Regeneration Brewery and Farm. Ever since we read about Jacob and his brewery we wanted to visit to see for ourselves how he is making his beer in McKinleyville. Being a farm in addition to a brewery had our interest peaked.
Jacob has his brewing equipment set up in a storage bay - this way he can open up the door and move a portion of his process outside.
His brewery is also his taproom. This makes for a very fun experience. Sitting with other craft brew appreciators while watching the process. You can't get much closer to the process then this. Check out Jacobs site to learn about his interesting business. The short story - he grows both his grains and hops.
We sampled all of Jacob's beers on tap and enjoyed an evening just hanging around this place getting some one on one time with the Brewer himself. The brewery also offers a Community Supported Brewery Program - a similar system to the food boxes we all know about except with beer. An amazing idea!
So, a wet but good day for the Wood Clan
BIG trees and more craft beer.
Being in California it was another night of a risky stealth parking spot. Thankfully more success but we made another quick departure the next morning. More Redwoods pictures to come next post.
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